What Lies Beneath: Key findings of AP’s investigation

The Associated Press reviewed thousands of pages of documents, interviewed nearly two dozen veterans and consulted military, medical and environmental scientists as it investigated the connection between toxic substances at California’s Fort Ord and illnesses among those who lived and worked there.

Key findings of the AP investigation:

— Fort Ord, a decommissioned U.S. Army base in Central California, was polluted with toxic chemicals that leached into the groundwater and eventually the base’s drinking water. Some veterans who served there decades ago want to know if exposure to those chemicals could be the root cause of serious health problems, including rare blood cancers.

— The military says no, based on a 25-year-old public health risk assessment. The CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry concluded in 1996 that there were no likely past, present or future risks from exposures at the base. Since then, research into the dangers of those chemicals has advanced. Trichloroethylene, also known as the miracle degreaser TCE, for example, is now a known human carcinogen, and epidemiological studies indicate a link between TCE and blood cancers like non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

— TCE was among dozens of pollutants that scientists discovered as early as 1985 and today still exists in concentrations above the legal limit for drinking water in the aquifer below Fort Ord, according to local and federal water quality reports. Local water…

READ FULL STORY AT independent.co.uk

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